Ivy Tech honors 2 Columbus instructors

A Columbus Ivy Tech nursing instructor received the Gerald I. Lamkin Award for Excellence in Instruction, presented annually to one adjunct faculty member in the state community college system who best typifies excellence in instruction and epitomizes Ivy Tech’s mission.

Catherine Anne Swinney of Greensburg, adjunct faculty and clinical instructor in the practical nursing and associate nursing program at Columbus, was selected for the award.

Swinney and Columbus instructor Michael S.C. Kelley, assistant program chair and assistant welding professor, also were among 35 instructors in the Ivy Tech system recognized earlier this month with President’s Awards for adjunct and faculty honorees.

Danielle Robinson, Dean of the Ivy Tech Columbus School of Nursing, recommended Swinney for the adjunct award for her professional experience, positive interaction with students, encouragement, and preparing her students to succeed in their education and careers.

“Anne is a strong instructor who treats every student with kindness and encourages them to critically think,” Robinson said in recommending Swinney. “She teaches students to ‘think like a nurse,’ from day one. She holds high expectations for herself and her students. Students grow tremendously under Anne’s instruction.”

“I believe that every student can be successful, it is just a matter of finding their passion, the niche that is meant for them,” Swinney said. “I encourage students each day to acknowledge their boundaries — their frustrations, barriers — and then focus on the goal. I believe that it is important for our students to know that someone is firmly in their corner cheering them on, believing in them, and encouraging them to be brave and put in the hard work each and every day.”

Kelley received Ivy Tech’s highest honor for faculty. Swinney adjunct faculty and clinical instructor in the practical nursing and associate nursing program, was awarded Ivy Tech’s top award for adjunct faculty. Both were honored on Nov. 10 for their exemplary work with students and the college community during the past year.

A selection committee of alumni, past winners, state trustees, faculty representatives and college administration selected the honorees based on nominations from students, fellow faculty members, and Ivy Tech staff.

Antonina Ries, Dean of the Ivy Tech Columbus School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Applied Science, nominated Kelley for his leadership, commitment to serve others, mentorship, and for being an inspiration to others.

“If he did not exist, we would try to invent him,” Ries said of Kelly in nominating him for the award. “Mike’s personality, knowledge, and teaching strategies attract a steady stream of students. Mike is the kind of person who gives to give — without judgment. He takes time out of his busy schedule to meet and discuss his students’ career goals and aspirations, fears, and life barriers. Beyond the unsolicited and appreciated mentoring of his students, he shows how to juggle ups and downs and inspires each to never stop giving. Mike epitomizes leadership and inspires others to give back and pay it forward.”

“My primary focus at Ivy Tech Community College is our students and their academic and life success,” Kelley said. “Through trial and error, colleagues’ support, and industry relationships, I am finding the greatest chances and opportunities to bring the best out of my students. I encourage them to dream big and experience the unknown, push their limits to the sky with hard work, and never be alone on that journey path — bring your family and friends!”

“Our faculty members make all the difference in the lives of our students,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “They challenge students to think critically, prepare students for successful careers in the communities in which they live, and encourage them to be fully engaged in their communities. We congratulate them for their work and honor them for being the inspiration in the lives of so many.”